Don’t Hide From “The Talk”

friendsBOOK REVIEW

Our young people are living in confusing times when it comes to relationships and sexual identity. As Christians, homosexuality is possibly the most contentious cultural issue we are regularly confronted with. It is of utmost importance that parents are knowledgeable on the cultural changes going on around them and know how to wisely point their children in the right direction, especially when it comes to the matter of identity and loving our neighbors as representatives of Christ. Don’t hide from “the talk!”

The author begins “CRITICAL CONVERSATIONS: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens” by using Scriptures to lay a foundation but quickly addresses the importance of a loving relationship and open communication between parent and teen. He then moves to the child’s other important relationships: his/her friends, teachers, professors and administrators.

I love it when an author or pastor takes the time think of the hard questions one might pose before confronting an issue. This book is packed full of the possible accusations and inquiries a Christian might face when approaching the topic of homosexuality. He categorizes these challenges around the areas of God and the Bible, social policy, intolerance and hate.

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 9.39.30 AMSome of the most important advice comes in his talking about our love in action, listening, humility and touch in our relationships with the LGBT community. Yes, I did say touch. The author states, “Next to listening, it (touch) seems the next most important way to connect in is a very simple one: a friendly touch or casual shoulder hug.” I am so grateful for this short but extremely important challenge and setting straight on the term homophobia.

This is an crucial conversation and vital book. We must communicate with our children wisely and this book helps us ask the right questions and seek the Bible for our answers. Although the issue of homosexuality is controversial and although individual Christians we may not agree with each other ()or a book on the topic 100%, I believe that this guide for parents was written from a heart of love and offers a world of well-thought through wisdom and advice. Well done Tom! Thank you to Tom Gilson and Kregel Publications for a copy in exchange for this honest review.

Steve’s book writing adventure: “NOT A MALE FAIL: Finding Hope & Identity in a World of Macho Stereotypes” Here’s his blog post “You May Not Be Gay”

Because Everyone’s Story Matters


What a surprise. He got it. He lived it. To Jesus, everyone’s story mattered!  BUT, religion, the church, Christianity – how do we miss it?!

UNLIKE.  Don’t you wish you could add one of those buttons to your facebook account.  I think I would get myself in trouble if I did so.  The thing is, I’m a pastor, and the posts that confuse and infuriate me most are the ones posted by other Christians. The politically charged, homosexuality bashing, intolerant, hateful comments that I propose Jesus would have never LIKED and in fact, if He did have an UNLIKE button, He’d probably be the first to do so OR maybe just delete the “friend’ altogether.

OR would He?  I caught myself this morning.  I caught myself admiring my story and how I see Scripture and Jesus differently than before.  Jesus was all about love, life, restoration, peace, and healing.  So, leave your opinions to yourself . . . yes?

But then, wouldn’t Jesus love those intolerant Christians too?  This doesn’t mean I have to agree with or LIKE the posted opinions, but, everyone’s story matters to Him and as a Christian who is striving to be more like Him, I should love them too??

One of my favorite quotes states that, “Hurt people hurt people.”  I was there.  I’ve said the ugly things.  I use to use religion as a weapon and rules as a way of feeling “right with God.”  BUT, by His grace, I see things and Jesus differently now.  He rebuked the Pharisees (the spiritual leaders that “had it all together”) for the very things I read online BUT he still loved them.

I’m getting better at it.  My family and I moved to Joliet to start a church that is striving to live and love like Jesus and help bring restoration and hope to the community.  We have decided to accept and love everyone in our midst, despite their political stance, upbringing, race, agendas, religion, and lifestyle. Now, Lord grant me the grace for those who have not yet experienced the freedom of loving everyone “because everyone’s story matters!”